August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 23, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Susan Collins casts deciding vote to repeal IRS donor disclosure rule
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

CQ-Roll Call - The Senate voted 50-49 to repeal a rule that shields donors to many nonprofit groups from disclosure to IRS officials. The dramatic vote was tied at 49-49, when Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, cast the deciding vote. The resolution would repeal IRS guidance that would have allowed nonprofit organizations to omit names of major donors — those giving more than $5,000 — from disclosure statements, though they would still have to keep the information if the tax-collecting agency asked for it. Democrats said the issue was over how much so-called dark money will be allowed to influence elections. The measure still needs House approval.
Column: Kids and Eagles
Free Press - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

My recent trip to the Thomaston Grammar School fifth-grade classroom, where I’d gone to discuss eagles, triggered some personal childhood memories. As a student at the Bristol School decades ago, I spotted an adult Bald Eagle wheeling high above the playground during a recess break. The eagle’s gleaming white head and tail stood out boldly against the dark blue sky. With 733 eagle pairs nesting annually across Maine these days, you might think the Bristol eagle was a routine sighting. It was not. The 1960s was an era when extensive use of DDT pesticides had decimated osprey and eagle populations, leaving Maine with 21 eagle pairs. In 1962, Rachael Carson’s evocative book “Silent Spring” sounded the environmental alarm and DDT chemicals were eventually banned from use in the U.S. in 1970. In following decades, Maine eagle numbers slowly rebounded under the watchful eye of Maine Fish & Wildlife biologists and wardens. ~ Don Reimer
Fake Christmas trees are increasingly popular. What does that mean for Maine tree farms?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Surveys show that 75-81 percent of American households that have a Christmas tree will use an artificial tree and that Mainers spent an above-average amount of state GDP on artificial Christmas trees. But in Maine, real tree farms are doing fine. The USDA estimated there were about 387 Christmas tree farms in Maine totaling 5,694 acres in 2012, up from 307 farms totaling 4,349 acres in 2007. There is one troubling Christmas tree industry trend, though. “A lot of us who are getting older are selling our farms,” Joanne Bond, executive secretary of the Maine Christmas Tree Association, said. “It is hard to get help. We are hoping that more young people will get into it.”
Lobster exporters looking around the world for new markets to stem losses
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

The U.S. lobster industry is on the hunt for new consumers, pitching live lobster to Southeast Asia’s growing middle class and gourmet lobster rolls to Berlin foodies. American dealers are trying to offset market losses caused by unfavorable tariffs in China and Europe. Live lobster sales from the U.S. to China had been on pace to double in 2018 until China slapped a 25 percent tariff on lobster in July [in response to President Trump's trade war].
Editorial: Timeout from waterfront development is the best way forward
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Sometimes doing nothing is the right move. Portland’s proposed six-month pause on waterfront development is a great example. If the temporary moratorium gives a wide range of competing interests a chance to work through a complex problem, it would be a big accomplishment. And it would also show other municipalities, and even the state, that there is a better way to resolve a tough issue than stiff-arming the critics, daring them to take their case to a referendum.
Letter: Thanks to special bipartisan group for introducing Carbon Dividend Act
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

I would like to simply state my gratitude to U.S. Rep. Theodore Deutch for introducing and three Republican and three Democratic representatives for co-sponsoring the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Amazing things can happen when we put politics aside and come together to look for solutions to problems! This bill promotes innovation, promotes job growth and will promote a cleaner environment – all good things! ~ Robert Thurm, Arundel
Letter: Bald Mountain may be in trouble
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

The Trump administration has cancelled a crucial environmental assessment that could have protected the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. Is Bald Mountain in Maine next? Tom Tidwell, chief of the U.S. Forest Service from 2009 to 2017, says, "Not only did the Trump administration go against their word to complete the Minnesota study, they ignored science, facts and public opinion. In other words, they lied.” This is the same kind of mining proposed for Bald Mountain by a company with no mining experience. And nothing prevents them from doing the same to our great state of Maine. ~ Robert Woodbury, Winslow
Letter: Company responds over its planned Maine salmon farm
Boston Globe - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

David Abel’s article “In Maine, progress has a catch” (Dec. 7), about the salmon farm we’ve proposed for Belfast, Maine, requires a response. The volume of waste water discharge is irrelevant; it’s the content. Nordic Aquafarms’ discharge will be about one-sixth the amount other permits allow. That’s why we have support from three prominent environmental groups: the Conservation Law Foundation, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation. Trees will be cleared from only about half of our 54-acre site. This land has been logged in the past. Three candidates in the Belfast City Council election ran as a slate against the project. All three lost decisively. ~ Erik Heim, President, Nordic Aquafarms, Portland, Maine
An Afternoon to Honor Nathaniel Reed
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Nathaniel Reed was a nationally known environmental champion who helped turn the Endangered Species Act into law and shepherded many other environmental laws while serving as an assistant secretary of the Department of Interior in the 1970s. He lived in and loved Florida, but also had a summer home in Winter Harbor and loved Maine as well. Nat served on the National Advisory Board of the Natural Resources Council of Maine for nearly 20 years. Nat caught his final salmon on July 3, at age 84. Right after landing that 16-pounder, he slipped and fell and never recovered. I traveled to Florida on December 8th to join hundreds of people who came to his memorial service. ~ Lisa Pohlmann
Town strategizes to improve alewife run
Mount Desert Islander - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Local and state agencies are teaming up to figure out how to increase the alewife population in Seal Cove Pond. Collecting data to understand the best way to assist the anadromous species’ migration from the ocean, upstream into the pond is most important in 2019, according to Scott Craig who works in the Maine Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. Despite a fishway ladder at the edge of the pond to assist their passage, the population in Seal Cove Pond has been low over the last couple of decades. Although some alewives are tenacious enough to reach the pond, the amount is not enough to sustain a healthy population.
Robert Bryan dies at 87
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Robert “Bob” Bryan, half of the famed “Bert & I” Downeast Maine humor storytelling team that included the late Marshall Dodge, died Wednesday in Canada. He was 87. Bryan, who was a pastor, also was the founder of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, based in Ispwich, Massachusetts. He started the organization in 1961 “to support the rural communities and environment of eastern Canada and New England, and to create models for stewardship and cultural heritage that can be applied worldwide.”
U.N. chief again appeals for compromise on climate
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

The United Nations secretary-general called on countries to make compromises in tackling global warming, amid concern that the U.N. conference on the issue could end without a substantial agreement. In his second dramatic appeal at the talks in Poland in the space of 10 days, Antonio Guterres told ministers and senior diplomats from almost 200 countries they should consider the fate of future generations. The U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are opposed to endorsing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
Maine Regulators Partially Undo Controversial Solar Metering Rule
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Last year, after several legislative attempts to reform the state's solar rules were stymied by Gov. Paul LePage, the Public Utilities Commission imposed a new way to measure the value of solar power called "gross metering." It required all electricity consumers to pay for extra metering equipment at new solar projects — even on power that was used on site and not sent to the grid. The cost of the new equipment for larger-scale solar generation plants far outweighed savings to consumers. The commission has exempted medium and large scale solar installations from the gross metering rule. New residential and small business solar projects are, for now, still subject to it. But it's expected that next year Gov.-elect Janet Mills and the new Legislature will attempt a complete overhaul of the state's solar rules.
South Berwick endorses York River designation, next step toward federal protection funds
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Portsmouth Herald - South Berwick town councilors endorsed designation of the York River and its tributaries as a federal Partnership Wild and Scenic River at their Tuesday meeting. The York River Stewardship Committee can now move forward in working with members of Maine’s congressional delegation to achieve the scenic river status. The federal designation will enable towns bordering the river to access federal funding to protect and maintain the river and its watershed for recreation, fisheries, water quality preservation and similar purposes.
Senate passes 2018 Farm Bill, a victory for food sovereignty in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

The final version of the 2018 United States Farm Bill was passed by the U.S. Senate Tuesday. It contains some good news for food sovereignty in Maine after an amendment targeting local food control was removed from the 641-page document. The Farm Bill passed in the Senate 87-13. Both of Maine’s senators, independent Angus King and Republican Susan Collins, voted for the bill. “We are enormously happy that the toxic King Amendment did not make it into the final version of the Farm Bill that just passed in the Senate and seems sure to pass in the House,” said Betsey Gerrold, acting executive director of Food for Maine’s Future.
Opponents rail against CMP’s proposed 145-mile transmission line at Durham forum
Times Record - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Proponents say a planned 145-mile powerline cutting across Western Maine, terminating in Lewiston, would be a boon for renewable energy. The New England Clean Energy Connect would allow Central Maine Power to deliver hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. For boosters of tourism and conservation, however, there are a lot of worries over the project’s immediate impacts and long-term effects. “We’re being taken advantage of,” said Matt Wagner, a panelist at a discussion of the project Tuesday in Durham.
Why you may want to ditch your fancy snowshoes for wooden ones
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

To many Maine residents, bent wood frames and woven rawhide decking are not just a thing of the past. Crafted by a handful of businesses throughout the state, wooden snowshoes continue to be worn by a variety of outdoors-people who prefer their age-old designs and natural materials to more modern plastic and metal snowshoes. Maine was the center of snowshoe production in the Northeast from the 1850s to the 1940s. During that time, snowshoes were made by Maine Indians, as well as non-natives who adopted traditional Native American designs and construction techniques.
Native Fisheries Coalition has accomplished a lot
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

In a short period of time the Native Fisheries Coalition has accomplished a great deal. Just a year after gaining it’s 501c3 status, the Coalition has become an important voice for our wild native fish and built a fantastic and very experienced team of board members and volunteers. NFC has worked hard to build an excellent website and social media presence. It includes a blog run by National Chair Ted Williams, an active Facebook page, and a great website.
Maine watchdogs keep close eye on Trump’s bid to change nuclear waste storage rules
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

A new proposal by President Donald Trump’s administration to reclassify some high-level nuclear waste to reduce cleanup costs will not affect the 550 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel stored in more than 60 airtight steel canisters near the former Maine Yankee nuclear reactor in Wiscasset. The proposal focuses on waste generated by nuclear weapons, not power plants. But Mainers tasked with advocating for safe handling of atomic waste voiced concern that it could foretell changes that would affect the Maine Yankee waste.
Midcoast communities gear up for plastic bag, Styrofoam bans
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

A ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam containers approved by Rockland officials earlier this year will take effect at the start of the new year. A similar ban will also take effect in April for Camden residents. They will join more than a dozen other Maine communities that have similar ordinances prohibiting stores from giving shoppers single-use plastic bags.
Column: Deputy George says, ‘Why not Maine?’
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

People don’t consider Maine a good place to relocate to because it is seen as too cold and remote, according to a state commission survey. Three years ago, Live and Work in Maine started a campaign to convince tourists that Maine is a great place to move to for a career. They also plan to “deputize” companies and private citizens to market the state for its quality of life and job opportunities. Well, please consider me Deputy George. And I will focus on the quality of life. Live and Work in Maine thinks we need to coordinate positive stories about the state and “change the conversation about Maine.” I’ll begin with winter. ~ George Smith
Letter: Newspaper should phase out its use of plastic bags
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Do we really need each newspaper to come in its own plastic bag, when our waterways are filling up with plastic garbage? Can the Press Herald just use a rubber band instead? Or only use them on rainy days. ~ Sarah English, Portland
Letter: Climate change demands a lifestyle change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

We must reduce our production of air- and water-warming gases immediately. To accomplish this goal, we all must limit our travel to necessities. We will have to suspend our purchasing powers and buy only necessities. And, finally, we must stop eating animal foods. We have been living as though our life activities have no impact on our environment. Climate scientists tell us we only have 10 to 20 years to make the changes that will prevent the planet’s worst catastrophes. ~ Len Frenkel, South Portland
Letter: Learn from Bush on environment
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

The environment used to be a common ground concern of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. George H.W. Bush campaigned in 1988 as an “environmental president.” He said, “Those who think we are powerless to do anything about the greenhouse effect are forgetting about the White House effect.” Bush made passage of the Clean Air Act, which targeted acid rain and smog, a high priority. There is another opportunity to employ a bipartisan, market-based mechanism to address the challenge of climate change: the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act. Now is the time for us to reunite on behalf of the earth’s environment. ~ Cynthia Standoff, Chesterville
Letter: We were warned, long ago
Sun Journal - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 

Concerning climate change, in 1846 the blessed Virgin Mary appeared to two shepherd children in La Salette, France. Among many other predictions, Mary was reported to have said that the seasons will be “altered.” That would mean that life, as we know it, would change. We have witnessed the melting of the polar ice, both north and south. Polar bears and reindeer are affected by the tundra ice melting. Businesses such as fishing will need to change. We were warned. ~ Gabrielle Demoras, Lewiston
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